By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
AEW Dynamite Hits
CM Punk, Sting, and Darby Allin vs. MJF and “FTR” Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler: A fun main event. It felt like it went longer than it needed to, but the live crowd was invested and this closed the show on a high note. Punk chasing MJF up the steps, through the concourse, and then back down another section’s steps was comical, and I enjoyed the way they avoided having physicality between the two. MJF telling the broadcast team afterward that Punk was a coward for avoiding him was comical. And here’s hoping that MJF dodged a bullet after taking that bad bump at ringside.
Hangman Page and Bryan Danielson: A good exchange to set up their big rematch for the January 5 Dynamite. I really like the move to put the company’s biggest title match on the first edition of Dynamite on TBS. Danielson continues to be a blast as a heel, and I dig the approach of adding judges to determine a winner if the match once again goes the distance.
Adam Cole vs. Orange Cassidy: A big part of me was hoping that AEW would cash in some of the equity that they’ve built up in Cassidy by giving Cole a strong and decisive win. But it was logical to take a different approach with Kyle O’Reilly making his surprise debut by having him interfere in the match. What’s illogical is AEW continuing to make its referees look so damn incompetent. In this case, the referee bickered with Bobby Fish while completely ignoring what was happing just a few steps behind him. Is it too much to ask for AEW to put a little extra thought into laying out their matches to avoid these weekly moments of nonsense? Sure, you’re going to get some of this in every promotion, but AEW really does go overboard. Putting that aside, O’Reilly showing up was both expected and exciting.
Nyla Rose vs. Ruby Soho in a TNT Title tournament semifinal match: The sleeve of Ruby’s jacket put up the toughest fight of the night. Anyway, this was an entertaining match with Soho advancing to the finals. Soho did a fantastic job of selling a shoulder injury. I suspect that the shoulder injury will be exploited by Jade Cargill in the finals.
Malakai Black vs. Grif Garrison: The match was what it needed to be with Black going over strong. I was disappointed that we didn’t get any new developments on the new House of Black member or Julia Hart, but I’m sure both are coming soon.
Wardlow vs. Shawn Dean: Another good squash win for Wardlow. He’s looking increasingly dominant as he inches closer to turning babyface for feuds with MJF and Shawn Spears.
AEW Dynamite Misses
Matt Hardy and Jungle Boy promos: Hardy stated during a backstage promo that Isiah Kassidy would pound Jungle Boy’s ass when they meet on AEW Rampage. Jungle Boy responded seconds later by saying he would shove a piece of coal up Kassidy’s ass. Apparently, the Christmas edition of AEW Rampage is going to include a lot of ass play.